S Saffioti

Università degli Studi di Genova, Genova, Liguria, Italy

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Publications (57)246.19 Total impact

  • Nutrition Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 12/2013; 23:S54. DOI:10.1016/j.numecd.2013.10.015 · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein-energy wasting is relatively common in renal patients treated with haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis (PD) and is associated with worse outcome. In this article, we review the current state of our knowledge regarding the effects of PD on protein metabolism and the possible interactions between PD-induced changes in protein turnover and the uraemia-induced alterations in protein metabolism. Available evidence shows that PD induces a new state in muscle protein dynamics, which is characterized by decreased turnover rates and a reduced efficiency of protein turnover, a condition which may be harmful in stress conditions, when nutrient intake is diminished or during superimposed catabolic illnesses. There is a need to develop more effective treatments to enhance the nutritional status of PD patients. New approaches include the use of amino acid/keto acids-containing supplements combined with physical exercise, incremental doses of intraperitoneal amino acids, vitamin D and myostatin antagonism for malnourished patients refractory to standard nutritional therapy.
    Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases: NMCD 08/2012; DOI:10.1016/j.numecd.2012.07.005 · 3.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mixed diffusive-convective dialysis therapies offer greater removal capabilities than conventional dialysis. The aim of this study was to compare two different on-line, post-dilution hemodiafiltration (HDF) treatments with regard to achieved convective volume and middle-molecule dialysis efficiency: standard volume control (sOL-HDF) and automated control of the transmembrane pressure (TMP) (UC-HDF). We enrolled 30 ESRD patients (55.9 ± 14.0 years, 20/10 M/F) in a randomized, prospective, cross-over study. The patients received a 3-month period of sOL-HDF followed by UC-HDF for a further 3 months, or vice versa, using the same dialysis machine. In sOL-HDF, fixed exchange volumes were set according to a filtration fraction greater than or equal to 25%. In UC-HDF therapy, the exchanged volume was driven by a biofeedback system controlling the TMP and its set point in a double loop. Patients maintained their treatment time, dialyzer, blood flow rate, and anticoagulant regimen unchanged throughout the study. Greater convective volumes were achieved in UC-HDF than in sOL-HDF (23.8 ± 3.9 vs.19.8 ± 4.8 L; p<0.001) with high pre-dialysis Ht value (sOL-HDF 34.0 ± 4.5% and UC-HDF 34.0 ± 4.4%; p = 0.91). The average clearance values of ß2m and P were higher in UC-HDF than in sOL-HDF (respectively 123 ± 24 vs. 111 ± 22 ml/min, p<0.002 and 158 ± 26 vs. 152 ± 25 ml/min, p<0.05). Moreover, the UC-HDF mode led to a significantly increased rate of call-free sessions from 88% to 97% (p<0.0001). This study showed that the biofeedback module, applied to the automatic control of TMP in on-line HDF, results in higher convective volumes and correspondingly higher ß2m and P clearances. By making the HDF treatment more automated and less complex to perform, it significantly reduced the staff workload.
    The International journal of artificial organs 06/2012; 35(6):435-43. DOI:10.5301/ijao.5000106 · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein-energy wasting (PEW) is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is associated with an increased death risk from cardiovascular diseases. However, while even minor renal dysfunction is an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular prognosis, PEW becomes clinically manifest at an advanced stage, early before or during the dialytic stage. Mechanisms causing loss of muscle protein and fat are complex and not always associated with anorexia, but are linked to several abnormalities that stimulate protein degradation and/or decrease protein synthesis. In addition, data from experimental CKD indicate that uremia specifically blunts the regenerative potential in skeletal muscle, by acting on muscle stem cells. In this discussion recent findings regarding the mechanisms responsible for malnutrition and the increase in cardiovascular risk in CKD patients are discussed. During the course of CKD, the loss of kidney excretory and metabolic functions proceed together with the activation of pathways of endothelial damage, inflammation, acidosis, alterations in insulin signaling and anorexia which are likely to orchestrate net protein catabolism and the PEW syndrome.
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 05/2011; 8(5):1631-54. DOI:10.3390/ijerph8051631 · 1.99 Impact Factor
  • 01/2011; 84(1). DOI:10.4081/jbr.2011.4498
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis and myostatin are major mediators of muscle atrophy and might therefore be involved in the wasting of uremia. To examine whether they are expressed in the skeletal muscle of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), we measured muscle apoptosis and myostatin mRNA and their related intracellular signal pathways in rectus abdominis biopsies obtained from 22 consecutive patients with stage 5 CKD scheduled for peritoneal dialysis. Apoptotic loss of myonuclei, determined by anti-single-stranded DNA antibody and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling assays, was significantly increased three to fivefold, respectively. Additionally, myostatin and interleukin (IL)-6 gene expressions were significantly upregulated, whereas insulin-like growth factor-I mRNA was significantly lower than in controls. Phosphorylated JNK (c-Jun amino-terminal kinase) and its downstream effector, phospho-c-Jun, were significantly upregulated, whereas phospho-Akt was markedly downregulated. Multivariate analysis models showed that phospho-Akt and IL-6 contributed individually and significantly to the prediction of apoptosis and myostatin gene expression, respectively. Thus, our study found activation of multiple pathways that promote muscle atrophy in the skeletal muscle of patients with CKD. These pathways appear to be associated with different intracellular signals, and are likely differently regulated in patients with CKD.
    Kidney International 01/2011; 79(7):773-82. DOI:10.1038/ki.2010.494 · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The progressive loss of kidney function in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with a number of complications, including cardiovascular diseases, anemia, hyperparathyroidism, inflammation, metabolic acidosis, malnutrition and protein-energy wasting. The excess cardiovascular risk related to CKD is due in part to a higher prevalence of traditional atherosclerotic risk factors, in part to non-traditional, emerging risk factors peculiar to CKD. While even minor renal dysfunction is an independent predictor of adverse cardiovascular prognosis, nutritional changes are more often observed in an advanced setting. In addition, factors related to renal-replacement treatment may be implicated in the pathogenesis of heart disease and protein-energy wasting in dialysis-treated patients. Progressive alterations in kidney metabolism may cause progressive effects on cardiovascular status and nutrition. Altered kidney amino acid/protein metabolism and or excretion may be a key factor in the homeostasis of several vasoactive compounds and hormones in patients with more advanced disease. In this discussion recent research regarding the kidney handling of amino acids and protein turnover and their potential link with cardiovascular disease, progressive kidney dysfunction and nutritional status are reviewed.
    Clinical nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland) 03/2010; 29(4):424-33. DOI:10.1016/j.clnu.2010.02.005 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although metabolic acidosis stimulates protein catabolism, its effects on splanchnic protein turnover and energy expenditure have not been measured in human beings. We investigated the effects of chronic metabolic acidosis (CMA) on splanchnic protein dynamics and oxygen consumption in human beings by using a leucine tracer and mass-balance techniques. Five subjects were studied after 6 days of HCl-, CaCl(2)-, and NH(4)Cl-induced acidosis; 8 subjects served as controls. Blood samples were collected from the radial artery and the hepatic veins. Measurements were performed on plasma and whole-blood samples. Based on plasma measurements, subjects who had undergone CMA had lower rates of splanchnic proteolysis (-35%) and protein synthesis (-50%; P < .05) than controls, as well as a negative leucine kinetic balance (-6.81 +/- 2.48 micromol/kg/min/1.73 m(2) body surface [BS](-1)), compared with the neutral balance in control plasma samples (0.76 +/- 2.11 micromol/kg/min/1.73; P < .05 between groups). Based on measurements from whole blood, splanchnic proteolysis and protein synthesis did not differ significantly between CMA and control samples, and the net leucine kinetic balance was neutral in both groups (CMA, -0.69 +/- 1.57; controls, -0.74 +/- 3.45 micromol/kg/min/1.73). In CMA whole-blood measurements, splanchnic oxygen consumption (44.8 +/- 4.3 mL/min/1.73 m(2) BS) was slightly lower than in controls (57.5 +/- 8.4 mL/min/1.73 m(2) BS; P = NS). Splanchnic protein synthesis correlated with oxygen consumption (r = 0.82; P < .001). CMA reduces splanchnic protein turnover and results in a negative leucine balance--an effect that apparently is offset by the contribution of blood cells to organ leucine (and protein) dynamics. Protein synthesis is a major contributor (about 67%) to energy expenditure in splanchnic organs.
    Gastroenterology 12/2009; 138(4):1557-65. DOI:10.1053/j.gastro.2009.12.009 · 13.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Renal synthesis and excretion of ammonia are critical for efficient removal of acids from the body. Besides the rate of ammonia production, the intrarenal distribution of produced ammonia is a crucial step in the renal regulation of acid-base balance. Various acid-base disorders are associated not only with changes in ammonia production but also with its distribution between the urine and the renal veins. The final effect of ammonia production on acid-base balance largely depends on the events that determine the distribution of ammonia produced between urine and blood. Several factors, among which urine pH, urine flow, total ammonia production "per se" and renal blood flow may affect the percent of ammonia excreted into urines in humans with different acid-base disturbances. Among these factors, urine pH is the most important. An additional effect of stimulated ammoniagenesis is kidney hypertrophy. In tubule epithelial cells, the associated increase in ammonia production, rather than the acidosis per se, is responsible for favoring tubular hypertrophy. This effect is related to the inhibition of protein degradation, owing to changes in lysosomal pH and cathepsin activity, without effects on cell cycle. Both changes of PI-3 kinase pathway and the suppression of chaperone-mediated autophagy are candidate mechanism for ammonia-mediated inhibition of protein degradation in tubule cells. Available data in humans indicate that the response of kidney to metabolic acidosis includes both changes in amino acid uptake and suppression of protein degradation. The latter effect is associated with the increase in ammonia excretion and partition into the urine.
    Metabolic Brain Disease 01/2009; 24(1):159-67. DOI:10.1007/s11011-008-9121-6 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effects of chronic metabolic acidosis on protein dynamics and amino acid oxidation in the human kidney, a combination of organ isotopic ((14)C-leucine) and mass-balance techniques in 11 subjects with normal renal function undergoing venous catheterizations was used. Five of 11 studies were performed in the presence of metabolic acidosis. In subjects with normal acid-base balance, kidney protein degradation was 35% to 130% higher than protein synthesis, so net protein leucine balance was markedly negative. In acidemic subjects, kidney protein degradation was no different from protein synthesis and was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in controls. Kidney leucine oxidation was similar in both groups. Urinary ammonia excretion and total ammonia production were 186% and 110% higher, respectively, and more of the ammonia that was produced was shifted into urine (82% versus 65% in acidemic subjects versus controls). In all studies, protein degradation and net protein balance across the kidney were inversely related to urinary ammonia excretion and to the partition of ammonia into urine, but not to total ammonia production, arterial pH, [HCO(-)(3)], urinary flow, the uptake of glutamine by the kidney, or the ammonia released into the renal veins. The data show that response of the human kidney to metabolic acidosis includes both changes in amino acid uptake and suppression of protein degradation. The latter effect, which is likely induced by the increase in ammonia excretion and partition into the urine, is potentially responsible for kidney hypertrophy.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 07/2004; 15(6):1606-15. DOI:10.1097/01.ASN.0000127865.26968.36 · 9.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, we used organ balance across the kidney, splanchnic organs, and lower limb in subjects undergoing diagnostic central venous catheterizations to gain insight into the renal and extrarenal exchange of aminothiols in humans. Although Hcy was released only in low amounts from leg tissues, Cys-Gly (a peptide derived from GSH hydrolysis) was released by both the leg and splanchnic organs, whereas Cys was released by the kidney and taken up by splanchnic organs. The kidney removed approximately 90% of the Cys-Gly released into the circulation. Removal of Cys-Gly by the kidney depended on Cys-Gly arterial levels and showed a high fractional extraction ( approximately 26%), with clearance rates slightly higher than the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Although the average kidney removal of Hcy was not statistically significant, the fractional extraction of Hcy across the kidney varied directly with renal plasma flow. Our data show that thiol metabolism in humans is a compartmentalized interorgan process involving fluxes of individual aminothiols that are parallel and of opposite sign among peripheral tissues, splanchnic organs, and kidney. Cys-Gly is released by peripheral tissue and splanchnic organs from GSH hydrolysis and is taken up by the kidney by GFR; the kidney returns Cys to the circulation to preserve substrate availability for GSH synthesis. On the other hand, Hcy is released by peripheral tissues in low amounts, and its removal by the kidney seems to depend on blood supply. These findings may help explain several alterations in aminothiol metabolism observed in patients with chronic diseases.
    AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 05/2003; 284(4):E757-63. DOI:10.1152/ajpendo.00403.2002 · 4.09 Impact Factor
  • Contributions to nephrology 02/2003; DOI:10.1159/000071431 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite continuing glucose absorption and stimulation of insulin secretion, wasting is common in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) treated with peritoneal dialysis. To evaluate if peritoneal dialysis per se has any effect(s) on muscle protein turnover we employed the forearm perfusion method associated with the kinetics of 3H-phenylalanine in seventeen patients with CRF in the basal state and: a) during the systemic hyperinsulinemia associated with peritoneal dialysis (6 patients) (200-240 min); b) during locally-induced hyperinsulinemia, without systemic effects on aminoacid (AA) availability (6 patients) (80-120 min); c) in time-controls (5 patients) (80-240 min). Peritoneal dialysis and local infusion of insulin in the brachial artery (0.01 mU/min/kg) induced a similar degree of systemic or local, moderate hyperinsulinemia (19+/-4 e 21+/-3 microU/ml, respectively). During both protocols an insulin-related inhibition of muscle protein degradation occurred; however peritoneal dialysis caused a 20% decrease in forearm phenylalanine rate of disposal (an index of muscle protein synthesis), which correlated with the decline of arterial BCAA and potassium, which were removed via the peritoneal fluid. Furthermore, a persistent negative net phenylalanine and AA balance across the forearm was observed during peritoneal dialysis, while the negative basal net phenylalanine and AA balance was reversed to a positive or neutral one during local hyperinsulinemia. We conclude that in CRF patients even a modest elevation in local insulin levels is followed by an anabolic muscle response, while the same effect is not observed during the systemic hyperinsulinemia associated with substrate removal which occurs during peritoneal dialysis. In this setting the antiproteolytic effect of hyperinsulinemia is offset by a decrease in muscle protein synthesis which is accounted for by a decrease in AA availability. Our data indicate that protein metabolism during peritoneal dialysis is characterized not only by decreased, but also less efficient, turnover rates.
    Giornale italiano di nefrologia: organo ufficiale della Societa italiana di nefrologia 01/2002; 19(1):37-43.
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    ABSTRACT: Whether changes in substrate and insulin levels that occur during peritoneal dialysis (PD) have effects on muscle protein dynamics was evaluated by studying muscle protein synthesis (PS), breakdown (PB), and net protein balance (NB) by the forearm perfusion method associated with the kinetics of 3H-phenylalanine in acute, crossover studies in which PD patients served as their own controls. Studies were performed (1) in the basal state and during PD with dialysates that contained dextrose alone in different concentrations (protocol 1: eight patients), (2) during PD with dialysates that contained dextrose alone or dextrose and amino acids (AA) (protocol 2: five patients), and (3) in time controls (five patients). PD with dextrose alone induced (1) a two- to threefold increase in insulin, as well as a 20 to 25% decrease in AA, mainly BCAA, levels; (2) an insulin-related decline (-18%) in forearm PB (P<0.002); (3) a 20% decrease in muscle PS (P<0.04), which was related to arterial BCAA and K+ (P<0.02 to 0.05); (4) a persistent negative NB; and (5) a decrease in the efficiency of muscle protein turnover, expressed as the ratio NB/PB. PD with dextrose+AA versus PD with dextrose induced (1) similarly high insulin levels but with a significant increase in total arterial AA (+30 to 110%), mainly valine; (2) a reduced release of AA from muscle (P<0.05); and (3) a decrease in the negative NB observed during PD with dextrose, owing to an increase (approximately 20%) in muscle PS, without any further effect on muscle PB. This study indicates that in PD patients in the fasting state, the moderate hyperinsulinemia that occurs during PD with dextrose alone causes an antiproteolytic action that is obscured by a parallel decrease in AA availability for PS. Conversely, the combined use of dextrose and AA results in a cumulative effect, because of the suppression of endogenous muscle PB (induced by insulin) and the stimulation of muscle PS (induced by AA availability). The hypothesis, therefore, is that in patients who are treated with PD, when fasting or when nutrient intake is reduced, muscle mass could be maintained better by the combined use of dextrose and AA.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 04/2001; 12(3):557-67. · 9.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a rare hereditary disease characterised by systemic degeneration of elastic tissue. Calcification of elastic fibres seen histologically is pathognomonic for the disorder. Most pseudoxanthoma elasticum patients show no serious complications during pregnancy. We report a case of a 29-year-old white woman with pseudoxanthoma elasticum, who delivered a healthy infant at the 35th week by cesarean section after an uneventful pregnancy. Sonographic and histological placental findings are described. Pregnancy in a patient with pseudoxanthoma elasticum presents some problems such as the evolution of the disease in the soon to be mother and the influence of the disease on the pregnancy. In our case there were no fetal-maternal complications related to the disease except skin lesion aggravation.
    Clinical and experimental obstetrics & gynecology 02/2000; 27(3-4):215-7. · 0.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to detect hepatitis G virus RNA (HGV RNA) and antibodies against the virus envelope protein E2 (anti-E2) in 107 patients either on maintenance haemodialysis (n = 78) or peritoneal dialysis (n = 29) to evaluate the prevalence of HGV infection and to establish its role in liver disease. The total prevalence of HGV infection was of 15.4% among haemodialysis patients, whereas it was 10.3% among peritoneal dialysis patients. HGV RNA was detected in 2 haemodialysis patients (2.6%) and in 3 peritoneal dialysis patients (10.3%). Anti-E2 was found in 10 haemodialysis patients (7.8%), whilst all peritoneal dialysis patients resulted negative. In only 1 patient the alanine aminotransferase level was elevated. This patient underwent liver biopsy that did not reveal evidence of chronic hepatitis. The lower HGV prevalence in haemodialysis patients, when compared with data reported by other European authors, should be related to the lower rate of polytransfused patients in our series (29.5%). Multiple blood transfusions should be considered as the main factor to explain the different prevalence of HGV infection among various European dialysis centres. Detection of both antibody and viraemia is important to establish the real rate of the infection.
    Nephron 02/1999; 82(1):17-21. DOI:10.1159/000045362 · 13.26 Impact Factor
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    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 09/1998; 13(8):2110-2. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the individual role of splanchnic organs, kidney, and peripheral tissues on leptin metabolism, leptin exchange across the splanchnic bed, kidney, and leg has been evaluated by the arterio-venous technique in post-absorptive non-obese subjects. Leptin levels in the hepatic and renal veins were significantly lower (p < 0.001), while femoral vein levels were consistently greater (p < 0.05) than in the artery. The fractional extraction of leptin, namely the percentage of arterial leptin extracted, was greater in splanchnic organs (16%) than in the kidney (9.5%). Urinary excretion of leptin was undetectable in most subjects, indicating that leptin is degraded within the kidney. There was no correlation between fractional extraction of leptin and glomerular filtration rate, whereas leptin fractional extraction was directly related to renal plasma flow (p = 0.017). Renal leptin clearance was about 50% of the glomerular filtration rate. Our data demonstrate that both splanchnic organs and the kidney cooperate in the disposal of leptin, while peripheral tissues add significant amounts of leptin to the circulation. In non-obese subjects the contribution of the kidney to whole body clearance is no more than 50%. The removal of leptin by the kidney depends on renal plasma flow but not on glomerular filtration rate or filtered leptin.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 07/1998; 247(2):504-9. DOI:10.1006/bbrc.1998.8819 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 12/1997; 12(11):2467. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For a better understanding of protein synthesis and degradation in the human kidney, the arteriovenous difference technique across the kidney, splanchnic organs, and leg muscle was combined with labeled leucine and phenylalanine isotope dilution models. Results indicate that in the postabsorptive state, the protein balance across the human kidney is negative because the rate of leucine release from protein degradation is greater than the amount used for protein synthesis. In the splanchnic bed, net protein balance is neutral since the amount of leucine deriving from protein degradation is similar to the amount utilized for protein synthesis. In the leg muscle, protein degradation exceeds protein synthesis. The kidney exhibits the highest leucine metabolic activity when expressed in terms of total organ leucine content. The estimated fractional protein synthesis rate in the human kidney is about 40% per day (vs. about 2% in muscle and 12% in the splanchnic bed). The human kidney presents high rates of protein turnover and accounts for a significant fraction of whole-body protein degradation, protein synthesis, and leucine oxidation.
    Mineral and Electrolyte Metabolism 02/1997; 23(3-6):185-8.